McLaren F1 Team gained their first double points finish since the Italian Grand Prix, at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the third Italian track of the year.
Lando Norris has had a tricky past couple of races with a retirement at the Eifel Grand Prix and point less finishes at the Russian and Portuguese Grands Prix.
Even though he gained a points finish with eighth at Imola, he still wasn’t too overly happy with the race. Norris spent most of the race in a train with Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. and wasn’t able to ever capitalise with some overtakes.
Norris said: “There wasn’t a lot we could do today. We couldn’t overtake, but neither could a lot of the field, even after the Safety Car. We just didn’t have a big enough pace advantage to pass the cars in front.
“Even if you’re three or four tenths quicker, you just get stuck behind. They only have to defend into Turn One and then they’re safe for the rest of the lap. It became a race of trying to defend our position.”
“Saying that, I don’t think we should be too disappointed. We still have a lot of pace, we’ve just been unlucky recently. We need to make sure it goes our way in the final few races and that’s what we’ll try and do.”
Carlos Sainz Jr. had the better race of the McLaren duo. Starting in tenth place, Sainz Jr. managed to gain three places in the race to cross the line in seventh.
Towards the dying stages of the race, Sainz Jr. was lucky to avoid a collision with Alexander Albon when the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing took a spin and Sainz Jr. had to slam the breaks on to avoid him.
“It’s been a decent and well-executed race for the team. We moved up three positions, the boys did good pit-stops, we stayed out of trouble and pace-wise I felt like we were a bit faster than the cars ahead. However, overtaking was extremely difficult and I couldn’t move up the order as much as I obviously wanted,” said Sainz Jr.
“I had a big moment at the restart when Albon spun right in front me. I had to stamp on the brakes and then defend from the cars behind. I managed to save it and bring the car home seventh. With both cars in the top ten, we scored good points to keep in the fight for the championship, but we need to keep improving because it keeps getting tighter and tighter.”
Team Principal Andreas Seidl thanked the team on what he believes to have been a challenging weekend. But besides that, Seidl is glad the team was able to get an important ten points to go towards the Constructors’ Championship battle for third.
“This was a challenging afternoon for us – but a big thank you to the entire team and the drivers for fighting hard, getting both cars home in the points and delivering 10 vital points in our Constructors’ Championship battle.
“Our race was compromised by our qualifying positions, which caused us to be stuck in traffic for the entire race today. Before heading to Turkey, we’ll go home and spend the next 10 days looking at every detail of how we can extract more pace from the car – particularly on Saturday. Congratulations to Mercedes for a seventh consecutive Constructors’ title. They are the benchmark the rest of F1 must strive to emulate.”